Empowering Women Entrepreneurs: Successful 5th Physical Workshop on Financing and Investment at NSU Campus

Date: May 2, 2024
Time: 10:30 AM
Location: North South University Campus

The Women Entrepreneurs Business Support Center, a pivotal initiative under the We-Fi project of the World Bank and organized by BreakBite in collaboration with North South University, successfully conducted its 5th physical workshop on Financing and Investment on May 2, 2024, at the NSU Campus. The workshop, led by Mr. Mirza M Ferdous, Senior Lecturer in the Department of Finance & Accounting at NSU, attracted over 120 women entrepreneurs eager to enhance their financial acumen.

The primary objective of the workshop was to address questions submitted by the participants. The organizers carefully filtered, combined, and rephrased these queries into seven broad questions covering various aspects of financial management. A secondary goal was to respond to any additional questions from the audience at the end of the presentation.

The workshop began with a concise yet comprehensive overview of financial management, breaking it down into three functional areas: operations, investments, and financing. Given the workshop’s time constraints and scope, it was emphasized that the main focus would be on the subject of “risk.”

Understanding Risk: Risk was redefined not as a negative concept associated with loss, but as the idea of uncertainty, described mathematically as “we don’t know exactly what will happen in the future.” This concept of risk was a recurring theme throughout the workshop, with various facets of risk and risk management discussed in detail.

Detailed Q&A Session:

  1. Current Financial Trends: The first question addressed current trends in the financial and investment landscape, emphasizing the need for digitization. The discussion highlighted the importance of maintaining clear digital records for businesses to be eligible for financing opportunities, detailing the steps towards achieving digitization.
  2. Capital Structure and Cash Flow Optimization: The second and third questions focused on capital structure and cash flow optimization. The relationship between enterprise value, equity, and debt was explained, followed by an in-depth overview of cash flow management.
  3. Sources of Funding: The fourth question explored various sources of funding, highlighting their characteristics and pointing out unreliable sources to avoid, such as “shomobai shomities.” The significance of digitization and structured record-keeping was reiterated.
  4. KPIs and Financial Health: The fifth question, primarily academic, dealt with key performance indicators (KPIs) for measuring a business’s financial health. The discussion centered around the cash conversion cycle, cash ratio, and revenue growth, making it easy for the audience to grasp.
  5. Risk and Exit Strategies: The last two questions involved a detailed discussion on risk and exit strategies. Revisiting the concept of risk, the workshop drew connections between uncertainty and all the questions addressed.

The workshop saw active participation from the audience throughout, with the speaker encouraging questions. The Q&A session extended beyond the workshop, with participants seeking investment advice, clarifications on business structures, and discussions on various savings instruments. The workshop was engaging, beneficial, and well-received by all participants, providing valuable insights into financial management and fostering a deeper understanding of risk and its implications.

The Women Entrepreneurs Business Support Center, supported by BreakBite, continues to play a crucial role in helping women navigate the complexities of financial management and investment, equipping them with the knowledge and skills needed for sustainable growth.